High-Purity Digitally Intensive Frequency Synthesis Exploiting Millimeter-Wave Harmonics

Zhirui Zong

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

120 Downloads (Pure)


This thesis focuses on improving the phase noise and power efficiency
of millimeter-wave (mm-wave) frequency synthesizers in nanometer CMOS.
The mm-wave frequency spectrum is widely adopted in various upcoming
volume commercial wireless applications. These new applications provide
more interconnection between the physical and digital worlds. It entails a
demand for high speed data communications and accurate object sensing,
which are enabled by the large bandwidth available at mm-wave frequencies.
These systems also require good signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) on mm-wave
transceivers. It sets stringent phase noise specifications on the mm-wave
frequency synthesizers. On the other hand, the power budget on the mm-wave
frequency synthesizers are limited for long battery lifetime and/or thermal
reliability. The low phase noise should be achieved at high power efficiency.
Advanced nanometer CMOS technologies are preferred for the integration
of mm-wave frequency synthesizers. The scaled transistor size favors the cointegration with baseband circuits and large-scale SoCs. The upgrowing speed
of the MOSFETs also extends the upper limits on the operating frequency
of the CMOS circuits. On the other hand, the performance of mm-wave
frequency synthesizers suffers from various constraints and imperfections in
nanometer CMOS technologies. For example, the mm-wave oscillators is
inferior in phase noise due to the low quality-factor LC tank and exacerbated
flicker noise upconversion. Mm-wave frequency dividers/multipliers are power
hungry and limit the power efficiency of the frequency synthesizers. There is
a clear gap in performance between mm-wave and RF frequency synthesizers.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Delft University of Technology
  • Staszewski, R.B., Supervisor
Award date24 Jun 2019
Print ISBNs978-94-6384-050-7
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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